Omar Abdullah Apologises For Shopian Incident

16 August 2009
The Hindu

New Delhi: Admitting that his government committed some mistakes in the Shopian case, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday tendered an unconditional apology and assured the people that such incidents would not recur. “I cannot sideline the Shopian incident. We have not concealed anything. Initially the government did commit some mistakes. I tender an apology,” he said, after unfurling the tricolour at the Bakshi stadium here on the occasion of Independence Day. “We have learnt lessons,” he said, seeking the cooperation of the people in nabbing the culprits. The rape and murder of two women in Shopian in May triggered widespread violence in the State, forcing the government to hand over the case to the CBI. Observing that the recent elections in the State demonstrated that the separatist ideology had no place, Mr. Abdullah requested the Centre to initiate talks with Pakistan to settle all outstanding issues. The Chief Minister urged the Centre to take up steps for upgrading cross-LoC trade through the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalkote road links and reopening the Kargil-Skardu road